Frugal living is a necessity for many of us and for others it's simply a good idea. Saved money can be used to pay off debts or buy a little something extra for a loved one or for ourselves. However, many of the frugal ways people try to save money can be a bit messy, uncomfortable or unpleasant. Not everyone wants to hand weave their own socks or eat fruit and veg from a local dumpster.
Good thing then that with these five tips you can save yourself a bit of money at home in a pain-free way.
Spray Bottle Dishwashing Detergent
If you hand wash dishes you can save a lot on soap using this method and it is even easier than traditional methods. Fill a cheap spray bottle (you can find them dollar shops) with a small amount of detergent and a good amount of water. To apply the soap to your dishes simply spray it directly on to the desired area you want to clean. You will notice that you can do an entire load of dishes with less than one tablespoon of soap. Far lest wasteful than squirting a large amount of soap into the sink or applying soap directly to each dish.
The reason this works so well is that the spray action causes the water, soap and air to mix before it even touches the dish. It's the foaming action that cleans the dishes so the increased efficiency means you can use a lot less per dish. You should extend the life of each dish soap bottle by three times with this simple method.
Start Using Waste Paper For Other Things
Newspapers, brown paper bags, and butcher's paper can all be used to save a bit of money around the house and yet they are almost always simply thrown away. Here are a few ideas for what you can do with them to either save money or make your life a bit easier.
- Preliminary spill mop ups. Instead of using dish cloths (which should be thrown out after being used on the floor) or using excessive paper towels instead mop up most of the spill using newspapers etc.
- Wrap Food. Use clean butchers paper to wrap up sandwiches and other dry foods for later consumption.
- Garden mulch. Shred up any excess paper and mix it with dirt and food scraps it it will produce excellent mulch. The paper provides the nitrogen that plants need. Ratio of paper to green waste is about 50/50.
- Fire starting. I don't know why people use kerosene or other chemical firstarters when there is so much free paper available. Screw up the paper tightly and it will burn for a few minutes until the wood can catch on.
- Stuff Leather Shoes. Stuffing your leather shoes with paper will help them maintain their shape and prevent them from creasing in storage.
- Clean Your Windows. Old newspaper is perfect for cleaning glass, especially the dirty outsides. Just crumple up the newspaper and use a normal window cleaning spray.
- Line Your Fruit and Veg Drawers. Newspaper soaks up odors very well and it will help clean up and squishy fruit residue that might otherwise make it's way to the bottom of your draw.
- Stop ALL your furniture from rocking. Go on a furniture fixing rampage propping up your furniture legs, line your draws, and stop things from leaning on walls with folded up paper.
Instead of buying spray can cooking oil you can use pump style bottles that you fill with normal olive oil bought in bulk. Not only is the cheaper than canola spray cans it is also a lot healthier. You can buy fancy pump up spray bottle that you can fill up or you can simply buy a pre-filled one and refill it when empty.
Pictured Right: Pump up aluminium spray bottle for cooking oil. By Misto.
Dont' Buy Bottled Water for Use at Home
Sometimes when you are out it can be hard to avoid paying for water, especially if you don't know if the local water is safe. However, avoid buying bottled water for use at home. Invest in a drink bottle that you can refill, or if taste is a concern you can spend a bit more on a filtered drink bottle. You will easily make them money back in a week.
If you need any further convincing - bottled water manufacturers have less strict testing and controls than municipal water. Many tested bottled waters have been shown to contain higher levels of unsafe chemicals and bacteria that water from the tap. 
Learn Which of Your Favourite Meals You Can Make Yourself
A surprising amount of popular meals can be easily made at home for a lot cheaper than they can be bought for in a restaurant. Some things are still worth going out for but if you can't get enough of satay chicken from your local Thai place then you could learn how to make it yourself. Satay chicken, for example, is just a pan cooked chicken breast or thighs, boiled rice, and half a bottle of peanut butter mixed with sweet chilli sauce, hot water and soy. It takes around ten minutes to make, costs less than $10 and tastes fantastic. So next time you are thinking of going out just to gets something yummy first look up the recipe online, it may be easier than you think!
Revive Wool and Cotton Clothing with a Disposable Razor
If you find that you have stopped wearing some of your old favourites because of pilling or an unattracive fuzziness try giving them a once over with a disposable razor before buying new clothes. A cheap or old razor will easily shave off most pills and will remove fuzziness on some wool materials. Your old clothes may turn up good as new and you just saved yourself a trip to the store.